Listening is not necessarily a quality, as it is a virtue. Not many people know that listening can solve a lot of issues, and can act as a treatment for the many situations in which we are upset, stressed or disappointed. In many cases, we don’t look for solutions or answers to our problems, but more a person to whom we can tell about them, who is willing enough to listen to us. So yes, just listening, being a good listener, can mean a lot, for your friends, spouse, family member, even colleague. Thus, next time you will think that it is a waste of time to listen what someone close to you has to say, even if they are mere complaints, think again. If you know you are not a good listener, you should be aware that there are ways to improve this virtue and become an appreciated person.
Good listeners are also good husbands and wives, good parents or family members, good colleagues and, more importantly, good leaders. Yes, even a manager, or someone aspiring to a leadership position, must know how to listen to others. The first thing a good listener does is to pay attention to the person that is talking to them, and won’t finger their mobile phones, won’t look at other people passing by, watch TV or do other activities. So one thing you can do, if you want to become a good listener, is to turn off or put away anything that might distract you. For a couple of moments, you will have to dedicate your attention to the person that is in front of you speaking.
Also, good listeners won’t only pay attention to the words that person is saying, but also will watch the tone of his or her voice, and that person’s body language. The way they behave during a conversation will help you understand better through what they are going through and the way they feel. So when you are actually listening to someone, you don’t just stand there and pretend to be listening, but do your best to understand the person that is talking to you. Another thing you can do is to show interest in the conversation, sympathize and empathize with the person you are listening to. You don’t have to be talking to express these things, as you can do it through short words or body language. Nodding your head, learning towards the person, smiling or showing your concern, a pat on the shoulder or encouragement words can count a lot, showing that you do listen.
A good listener will never interrupt the conversation, or try to chance the subject. It is something rude, and it shows no interest in what the other person is attempting to communicate. Follow the conversation and see when it is appropriate to intervene with what you have to say. Also, always think before giving your answer our opinion, and don’t just throw some words out. And do have in mind that sometimes silence is the best answer, so don’t rush into offering an opinion since it may not be necessary. You are just a good listener so that listening can be more than enough in some instances.